Apple Patenting Solar-Powered Phone, Working on Wrist Devices

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While these projects may or may not ever see the light of day, there's plenty of evidence Apple is still thinking and experimenting outside the box.

If you’ve heard the claim that Apple’s gotten boring since Steve Jobs died, they probably have too – and they’re doing something about it. Two projects they’re working on sound like anything but boring.

CNET reported last week that the company applied for a patent on an “integrated touch sensor and solar assembly.” They have a picture, which looks like a smartphone or tablet sandwiched between solar panels. (Well, it looks like three rectangles in 3D, but between that and the name you get it.)

And over the weekend, a New York Times tech blog cited anonymous Apple sources who said they were experimenting with wearable smartphone devices. We heard this rumor last month, but it has a little more credibility coming from the NYT.

Such devices could use flexible glass developed by Apple supplier Corning, and could have most if not all of a smartphone’s applications, including the ability to pay by waving or tapping your wrist. The article, specifically talking about Google’s Glass project, also suggests devices could more easily monitor users’ health.

Stacy Johnson

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